17 Jul Summer State of Mind Despite the Pandemic
Many of us are trying to figure out how much fun we can have this summer and avoid getting sick at the same time. It is not easy to know what to do based on information we get from the news, social media networks, federal and local governments, and various health and wellness sources. We can find many (often contradictory) opinions based on very little science, because the data concerning this virus is not available yet. Several months after the WHO declared Covid-19 a global pandemic, we still don’t know how to understand, treat, and prevent this threatening bug.
The more exposure we have to the environment outside of our homes, the higher the risk of contracting Covid-19. However, our mental and emotional health are as important as the threat of illness. This is where knowledge is power and our intuition is our guide. Covid-19 has become much more than the health crisis; it is an economic, social, and political struggle. But for the sake of our safety, health, and wellbeing, it is a very good idea to stick to the facts and make choices based on the science currently available to us and opinions of health experts that we trust.
Awareness is key
It is better to be safe than sorry, but feeling “sorry” while we are anxiously awaiting things to change can have negative impact on us. Some of the signs to observe are: disrupted sleeping patterns, changes in eating habits (consuming more junk foods and eating too much or not enough), drinking more alcohol and caffeine, and reaching for recreational drugs, pain medications, and tobacco. It is important to find ways to enjoy the summer during the pandemic and still stay within our comfort zones.
Here are some ideas about how to plan activities and get the most out of the season many of us wait for the entire year.
Choose outdoor fun
Outside is where most of us want to be during the summer anyway, but during the pandemic it is also easy to maintain social distancing and get some much-needed physical activity.
Avoid crowded areas
It is best not to be in close contact with people that we don’t know. Perhaps concerts, busy shopping malls, fairs, and public events can wait for a time after the pandemic subsides.
Requesting outdoor seating when eating out
Fresh air feels great while dining and the open-air makes the spread of the virus less likely.
Eating in restaurants where the staff wears face masks:
Restaurants that require their servers to wear masks not only keep the germs contained, but also show respect and concern for customers.
Inviting friends for a picnic in the park
It is a fun and comfortable way to socialize. Morning coffee, an evening happy hour, a glass of wine (be sure the place you choose allows alcohol) at sunset, or even a take-out dinner in a place where you can spread out can feel like the best social time ever.
Choosing driving over flying (if possible)
There is no single guideline for all airlines and some take more precautions than others. Either way, the space in the aircraft is small and the number of people (even if the middle seat is empty) is large. Therefore, the possibility of infection remains high.
Reviewing TSA guidelines before flying
TSA is implementing modified procedures that are good to know before going to the airport to catch the flight. They include wearing masks, but also being allowed to carry up to 12 1-ounce bottles of sanitizer.
Inquiring before making reservations for an overnight stay
Hotels and other venues are supposed to follow specific Covid-19 guidelines, but some states are more “relaxed” than others. Checking websites and talking to hotel and other staff, as well as owners, is the best way to find out what to expect.
Finding details on out-of-state and international travel requirements and restrictions
Some states and countries require mandatory testing and a two-week quarantine upon arrival. At the beginning of the summer, the EU announced that citizens of the U.S., among those of eleven other countries, are not safe to enter the EU member countries.
Whatever we decide to do this summer, it is important to find a way to get some relief from stress, isolation, and physical and mental stagnation. Summer is the time to rejuvenate our bodies and inspire our minds. The pandemic does not need to stop us from getting what we desire, but it challenges us to become more creative. Each of us has a unique set of circumstances and a different comfort-zone range. Let’s use experience, information, and common sense as our guides and make the best of this season.
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Credits in order of appearance: Photo by Ylanite Koppens from Pexels (feature photo), photo by Robert Collins on Unsplash, photo by Elmarie van Rooyen on Unsplash , photo by Danielle Rice on Unsplash, photo by Nils Stahl on Unsplash, photo by Camila Perez on Unsplash, photo by Branimir Balogović on Unsplash, photo by Edward Howell on Unsplash
Urszula Bunting is a professional Legal and Medical Interpreter and Translator. She is a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach, a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Registered Yoga Teacher, and published author. Urszula is passionate about empowering people to take charge of their health and to transform life’s difficulties into opportunities to grow. For more information, please visit www.ubwell4life.com.